It can be really challenging to create a healthy diet for yourself. There are so many temptations (hello McDonald’s!) and having a busy life can make it seem impossible to live your healthiest life. However, there are some easy ways you can make healthy changes to your diet. If you’re disabled, altering your diet with some of these simple suggestions can end up making a huge difference to your health. You might even find it easier to walk from your handicap parking space to your location! So read on for some ways you can achieve a healthy diet.
Start small with reasonable goals
The number one thing to remember when trying to improve your eating habits is to start small. You’re more likely to achieve your goals if they’re reasonable and easily obtainable, so come up with just a few minor changes to make at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed. Track your meals or the progress you’re making so you can see how well you’re doing. And most importantly, never punish yourself! Maintaining a healthy diet is possible as long as you don’t put yourself down for any of your choices.
Consume a variety of foods
It’s crucial to remember that there are no “good” or “bad” foods. Although there are some foods that you shouldn’t eat regularly (looking at you, junk food), you shouldn’t completely ban any foods from your diet. Doing this means you’re depriving yourself and could end up making you binge on those foods later. Even if you decide to treat yourself to something a little less healthy, if you’re eating those foods in moderation, you’ll be just fine. Plus, consuming lots of different foods means you’re more likely to be getting all the vitamins and nutrients you need for a healthy diet.
Pay attention to portion size
One of the key aspects of achieving a healthy diet is to make sure you’re paying attention to the size of the portions you’re eating. Most restaurants and fast food joints offer gigantic portions, so you’ll probably end up overeating. Try ordering an appetizer instead of a main entree or offer to split a meal with whoever you’re dining with. Also, make sure you’re looking at food labels for serving sizes – these can actually be a lot different from actual portion size.
Eat lots of fresh produce
Your mom was definitely right when she told you to eat your veggies. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables seems like it would obviously be part of a great diet, but most people don’t include enough of them in their daily diet. Experts suggest that adults eat at least five portions of fruit and veggies every day, making up a third of their diet. Adding more produce to your diet can help you get the essential vitamins and minerals you need, as well as helping to reduce the risk of many diseases. It can actually be easy to add these items into your diet – try adding a sliced banana to your cereal in the morning or a side salad to your lunch. You can also buy canned or frozen fruits and veggies to add to your meals for extra nutritional value if you don’t have time to hit up the store for fresh options.
Cut back on added sugar and preservatives
More and more studies are showing the detrimental effects of sugar on our diet. Do your best to eliminate foods with added sugar and preservatives (like soda and candy). Most of these foods are high in fat and calories, so they end up providing you with empty calories (which can then lead to weight gain). Check labels to help you eliminate items like snack foods, pasta, and white bread, which can contribute to a not so healthy diet.
Drink more water
Your doctor has probably been telling you this for years, but you need to drink more water! How much water you should drink in a day is actually determined by your weight. It’s suggested that you drink between half an ounce and an ounce of water for each pound you weigh. For example, an individual who weighs 150 pounds should drink between 75 and 150 ounces of water each day.
Aside from providing your body with hydration, drinking water can help you feel full faster (so you don’t overeat) and can help you avoid consuming other unhealthy beverage options. If you’re drinking a lot of soda or sweetened beverages, you’re consuming more calories and sugar. Switching to drinking more water can help you avoid those less healthy choices. If plain water sounds too boring, add some cucumber or fruit to your water for a fun twist. Just avoid some of those flavored waters in the store – these can actually contain tons of sugar and artificial ingredients.
It is definitely possible to revamp your eating habits for a better, more healthy diet. Try one or two of these suggestions first, and you’ll be off to a fantastic start. Just remember: it’s okay to indulge from time to time. Just be mindful of your choices, and you’ll be able to achieve a great diet for a healthier, happier you!